While we have all seen tattoos that leave us in awe at the creativity and talent of the designer, there are a growing number of tattoos that their owners regret getting. Some estimates suggest that around 25% of people who have a tattoo regret getting it. Fortunately, the regret we feel doesn’t have to be permanent. Laser tattoo removal offers a great option for many people to safely and effectively get a tattoo removed.
It may sound high tech and very space age to think about using lasers to blast away a tattoo, and yeah, it is pretty high tech, but it’s also one of the best methods to remove a tattoo. The lasers work by breaking up the pigment in the tattoo. Black tattoo pigment is the easiest to remove because it absorbs all wavelengths of light. When tattoos have specific colors, they require a certain light to be able to break the pigment down.
If you are considering having a tattoo removed, we suggest scheduling an initial consultation. During that consultation, our talented staff can do a complete evaluation of the tattoo and give you an idea of how to complete the removal process, and what it will take to finish. There are many factors that play into the process, but some of these include the age, color, and size of your tattoo. In addition, the depth of the ink and your skin color can all play a role in the process’ effectiveness.
When you arrive for your first treatment, you’ll be given a pair of protective glasses. These glasses protect your eyes from the powerful pulses of light that are emitted by the laser. Our staff will first test a portion of your skin to check your reaction and ensure that they are using the best laser for your removal. We will then move across the tattoo with the laser, delivering the light pulses only through the top layers of the skin, so they only go as deep as the tattoo. Large tattoos will typically take a longer time to treat than smaller tattoos, but regardless of the size, you should expect several sessions until the tattoo is removed.
Many patients do experience some level of discomfort during the procedure. While there typically isn’t the need for an anesthetic, sometimes we will apply a topical anesthetic to the area before we begin your treatment. Once your treatment has been completed, it is important to use ice to soothe the area. The area should then be treated with an antibiotic cream and appropriately bandaged.
After each treatment, your tattoo will become lighter until it is eventually not noticeable. You should continue to cover the area with sunblock during treatment to minimize skin damage.
While it is rare, some patients do experience an infection that is associated with their treatment. The infection is normally caused by improper follow-up care, so it is important to keep the area clean and treated with an antibiotic cream. Some patients who have experienced an infection have also had some permanent scarring as a result.
While blue and black tattoos respond the best to laser tattoo removal, most tattoos will not be completely removed. You may still be able to make out some faint parts of the original design, or just notice some colors. Other patients have experienced hypopigmentation or lightening of the skin in the treated area.
Laser tattoo removal is a common practice that helps many of us rectify some of the mistakes that we made in our youth. If you think that you may benefit from tattoo removal, contact our offices today.